Mysterious aliens that enslave humans in order to power their odd technology attack backwater world Bakura. Because the Imperial Navy is busy reforming after the disaster over Endor, the Rebellion decides to help. Literally one day after his battle with Vader and the Emperor, Luke is to commandeer a rescue force with Leia, Han and Chewbacca tagging along. They arrive at Bakura just in time to fend of the latest alien attack and are confronted with natives who are less than eager to accept help from declared traitors.
If you accept the premise of a vile species that wants to conquer the galaxy and happens to begin with it just now, the general plot is enjoyable. Our main characters deal with the effects of the latest battle and revelations; in particular, Luke still has yet to find his place as a Jedi while Leia has to come to terms with Vader being her father. Other than that, The Truce at Bakura is a truly average book. Fans will want to read it as the depicted events are mentioned later.
The sixth volume of The New Jedi Order is stand-alone novel Balance Point by Kathy Tyers. It is set some months after Jedi Eclipse and mainly on Core world Duro. Leia succeeded in talking — and paying — the locals into accepting refugees onto the hostile planet’s surface. Refugees are organised in several dome-cities that protect them from the outside, but also isolate them. In the course of the book, the Solo and Skywalker families unite once again and start uncovering — and fighting — yet another scheme that might lead not only to the death of millions but to the Yuuzhan Vong having the perfect staging ground for an offensive on Coruscant, too.
I liked this book a bit better than the last one. Instead of telling a story on galactic scale, Tyers focuses on events on one world that are self-contained. Thus she can afford to do quite some character development. By neglecting the big invasion plot, she does not commit solely to the same pattern — intrigue, advance, conquest — the previous books drew out. But for the same reason she cannot break this pattern; the series has yet to develop. However, Balance Point is certainly worth a read and might, in fact, turn out to be pivotal for some characters.